While there are a variety of challenges during the reintegration process, the most commonly reported ones included determining where to live, career/educational pursuits (i.e., Do I go into the workforce or go back to school? What kind of job do I want now?), and establishing new routines. One thing that most all Service members will say is that the military provides a structure to life that simply isn’t inherently found in a civilian lifestyle. One friend noted, “Going from a set schedule and working outside the home to being a stay-at-home parent and fulltime student has been challenging.” Another noted, “I wasn’t sure if I could do the same job in the same place with the same people year after year.” He indicated that the intrinsic changes associated with military service was one aspect he valued and during the reintegration process he was struggling with fears of stagnancy possible in a traditional civilian career field.
Blog posts with the tag "Service Members"
Every Service member leaving active duty has the experience of reintegrating with the civilian life, as well as their civilian side. While this may be looked forward to by many, it is nonetheless, a time of anxiety as Service members figure out how to move from one role and "identity" to something else. I have both experienced this and watched it in others. What I've found is that people do not fundamentally change as much as, or in the ways, they think. The role changes, who they are does not.
Despite an extensive history of punitive practices towards what we know today as the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community, LGBTQ people have served in the United States military since its inception (GSAFE, 2018). Those LGBTQ Veterans who served during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War did so at a time when the military defined homosexuality as a mental disorder, with support from the organized medical community (e.g., APA).
The percentage of "523,626 female and male active duty Sailors and Marines who entered the U.S. military between 2006 and 2013" who had a PTSD diagnosis, according to a recent article in the Journal of Traumatic Stress -- Prevalence of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Psychological Comorbidities Among U.S. Active Duty Service Members, 2006–2013.
Stigma is relative, socially and culturally determined, and dynamic. Consequently, stigma is a difficult concept to operationally define. This is important because definitions shape and directly impact efforts to research and reduce stigma. In 2014, the RAND National Defense Research Institute published an extensive assessment of stigma-reduction strategies within the DoD (Acosta et al., 2014).